A wild second period saw five goals scored between St. Lawrence and Union, but it was rookie Alex Gilmour’s goal with just 17 seconds left that made the difference in a 4-3 Saints win. The Saints now sit atop the ECAC, but Union has two games in hand.
Gilmour, who also tied the game for the Saints late in the second by flipping a rebound past Alex Sakellaropoulos, tipped a Ben Finkelstein shot over the shoulder of the Union netminder, sending Appleton Arena into a frenzy.
“I won a faceoff there, and got it back to the point,” said Gilmour. “There was a shot from the corner blue line and I was left alone in front, and tipped it upstairs. It was a good redirect. The atmosphere was awesome. It’s surreal right now. It was a great game, probably my favorite hockey experience so far.”
The first period was relatively quiet in comparison with the second and the end of the third. Union’s Ryan Walker got the only goal, tipping in a Nick DeSimone shot while skating through the low slot with 1:54 left in the first.
Offense came early and often for the teams in the middle frame. Nolan Gluchowski took a breakout pass from Michael Ederer and split the Union defense, beating Sakellaropoulos low on the blocker side.
Union picked up two in a row in a stretch of 43 seconds to open a 3-1 lead over the Saints. Cole Maier finished a three-on-one for the Dutchmen before DeSimone got a clean look at Kyle Hayton after a defender fell over. DeSimone beat Hayton glove side with a quick shot.
After the Union goals, momentum was in the hands of the Dutchmen, and they looked to put the game out of reach. Gavin Bayreuther, in his first game back from injury, had other ideas. Woody Hudson fed the senior defenseman in the neutral zone, and Bayreuther kept it on his stick into the offensive zone before firing a shot past Sakellaropoulos. Gilmour took care of the next two goals for the Saints, propelling them to a crucial win.
Gilmour’s two goals decided the outcome, but the confidence of the Saints before the game and during was buoyed by the return of Bayreuther.
“Having him back tonight was huge; in the dressing room, the morale is a lot greater with him, and for him to get a goal like that and get us back into it after we got a little deflated was huge,” said Gilmour.
“[Bayreuther’s] such an infectious personality,” said Saints coach Mark Morris. “And you could just see the level of confidence in the room elevate, and for him to score, it just validated everything.”
“That was one of the most fun games I’ve ever played here,” said Bayreuther. “We weren’t worried when we went down. We expect a lot of ourselves, and to be able to come back quickly, especially after going down quickly, it just says a lot about our team, and where we’re going to be come playoffs.”
Union coach Rick Bennett could not be reached following the game.
The Saints have just one game next week, at rival Clarkson, while Union returns home to host Cornell and Colgate.
Rensselaer 2, at Clarkson 1
Riley Bourbonnais’ goal at 9:50 of the third period stood as the game-winner for RPI. Jake Wood had the other goal for the Engineers
Dartmouth 4, at No. 14 Cornell 2
The Big Green scored four straight to topple Cornell in Ithaca. Alex Jasiek had a pair for Dartmouth, while Troy Crema had three points.
Yale 4, Brown 1
Charlie Corcoran scored a short-handed goal late in the first period to put Brown up 1-0, but they couldn’t hold their lead, even to the end of the first. Yale netted the next four tallies to win easily.
Princeton 5, No. 4 Penn State 4
Ben Foster scored with 1:26 left in the third to give Princeton a nonconference win over the Nittany Lions. Colton Phinney made 43 saves.
Arizona State 4, at No. 17 Quinnipiac 2
The Bobcats couldn’t dig their way out of a 3-0 hole, but Tim Clifton did net a pair of goals for Quinnipiac. Anthony Croston had two goals for the Sun Devils.
No. 9 Harvard 3, at Colgate 1
The Crimson scored all three of their goals in the first period, and then played solid defense for the next 40 minutes. Willie Brooks got Colgate on the board 6:35 into the third, but the Raiders couldn’t complete the comeback.